Different positions are more helpful at different stages.
The maternity ward staff will usually suggest different positions as the birth progresses. They will help you, and explain what you need to do.
You can stand and lean on a loved one, the bed or other furniture.
The maternity ward also has special walking frames you can use while standing.
Stand with your legs spread wide apart and your knees slightly bent. Try to rock back and forth from hip to hip occasionally.
Try to keep as much of your weight off your feet when standing with support. This allows the muscles in your pelvis to relax.
On all fours
The all fours position (also known as the hands and knees position) allows you to rest your back somewhat.
This can give you more power when pushing the baby out.
It may feel good to move your hips.
You can squat leaning forward or with support behind you.
Squatting can make your pelvis open up a lot.
This position can sometimes make the baby come out quickly, which may cause tearing. It is therefore important that you listen to the midwife when they tell you what you need to do.
Sitting in a birthing stool
A birthing stool is shaped like a semi-circle. You sit down on it while positioning your bottom at a low angle.
You can relax your thigh muscles and buttocks.
You can also have a loved one support you from behind.
When you sit on a birthing stool, your pelvis opens up a lot.
The head end of the beds at the maternity ward can usually be raised and lowered.
You can kneel in the bed and rest against the raised end of the bed.
It may feel nice to position a beanbag between your stomach and the bed for extra support. A beanbag is a large cushion that is easily shaped.
In a semi-seated position, you have support for your back. The support can come from the bed, a loved one, or a beanbag.
Try to pull your knees towards your chest so your pelvis can open up. This makes it easier for the baby to move downwards towards the vagina.
Lying on your side
Lying on your side can help to slow down the pace, such as when pushing the baby out.
Lying on your side can also be good when you need to rest.
A support can be used if it becomes difficult to hold up your uppermost leg.
Semi-recumbent with your legs supported
In this position, you lie on your back with your legs resting in leg supports.
When you lie in this way, your pelvis opens up.
This position is often used if the midwife or doctor needs to be able to see when the child is coming out.